Congress and the President still intend to deprive American citizens of their Constitutional right to a trial by jury.
"National Defense Authorization Act: House And Senate Negotiators Agree On Bill Hoping To Avoid Obama Veto
The legislation would deny suspected terrorists, even U.S. citizens seized within the nation's borders, the right to trial and subject them to indefinite detention. The lawmakers made no changes to that language.
Civil rights groups still pressed for a presidential veto.
'The sponsors of the bill monkeyed around with a few minor details, but all of the core dangers remain - the bill authorizes the president to order the military to indefinitely imprison without charge or trial American citizens and others found far from any battlefield, even in the United States itself. The bill strikes at the very heart of American values,' Christopher Anders, senior legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement. 'Based on suspicion alone, no place and no person are off-limits to military detention without charge or trial.' "
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/1 … f=politics
If you cherish your liberty, you are urged to sign this petition to President Obama to let him know how you feel: https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions/% … hank-you=p
Sorry to be a spoil sport but Obama doesn't give a rat's behind for how I feel.
Thanks for commenting. Expressing my view to him is more productive than just complaining about feeling disenfranchised. It works for me.
From one of my senators, Debbie Stabenow, in response to my signing the petition:
December 13, 2011
Thank you for contacting me about detainee provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act. I share your support for protecting civil liberties, which is why I believe the government's detainee policy should be codified in law.
I strongly believe that the President needs the power to keep Americans safe and that power should be used carefully and in accordance with the Constitution. Currently, the detainee policy is cobbled together from Presidential directives and Supreme Court cases. The policy has been developed ad-hoc since 2001, and is subject to change at the whim of a President. The National Defense Authorization Act only codifies into law what is currently U.S. policy.
I voted to ensure that only terrorists who are members of al-Qaeda and who commit an act of war against the United States can be detained. For the first time, detainees now have the right to a hearing before a judge with a defense lawyer present. The bill, which passed the Senate by a vote of 93-7, also protects the right of habeas corpus. In addition, I voted for an amendment, which passed, explicitly stating that nothing in the bill shall be construed to affect existing law related to U.S. citizens, lawful resident aliens, or any other persons who are captured in the U.S.
Thank you again for contacting me. As always, please continue to keep me informed about matters of concern to you and your family.
United States Senator
U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow
The United States Senate • Washington, DC 20510
Hello Ralph. Thank you for posting this reply from your Senator. This statement conflicts with other reports and both can not be correct.
“ ‘the bill authorizes the president to order the military to indefinitely imprison without charge or trial American citizens and others found far from any battlefield, even in the United States itself. The bill strikes at the very heart of American values,’ Christopher Anders, senior legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement. “
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/1 … f=politics
I shall continue to explore.
Here is more, Ralph, from today's Huffington Post:
"In a reflection of the uncertainty, House members offered differing interpretations of the military custody and indefinite detention provisions and what would happen if the bill became law.
"The provisions do not extend new authority to detain U.S. citizens," House Armed Services Chairman Howard "Buck" McKeon, R-Calif., said during debate.
But Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said the bill would turn "the military into a domestic police force."
Civil rights groups were outraged by the legislation, and the White House's decision to drop the veto threat.
"As a former constitutional lawyer, the president should know better," said Raha Wala, advocacy counsel for Human Rights First. "This legislation not only undermines the Constitution, it compromises national security."
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/1 … 47878.html
I am unable to find anything that supports Senator Stabenow's assertions.
http://www.politico.com/blogs/under-the … 107514.htm
"....In the legislative process, some of the most hardline positions in different versions of the bill--like automatic military detention--have been watered down and qualified with waiver provisions and disclaimers. What is the point, for instance, of passing legislation that disclaims any intention to alter current law? As one close observer of the process, Ben Wittes of the Brookings Institution, put it: "What has emerged is mush." As a result, the legislation is like a Rorschach test with those who have different views on the direction of the war of terror fighting a pitched battle over legislation that is likely less consequential than either side will admit...."
The bill is a mess, but I don't think anyone's actually going to jail as a result of it.
As is usually the case, a bunch of internet "Constitutional scholars" have decided that they know with great certainty how these things will play out.
Your link does not work for me. I will try again tomorrow. Other articles on this site about NDAA 2012 are also unavailable.
Time may prove you right, Ron, however, right now I am uncomfortable with the direction taken by the Congress and the Executive Branch in the name of fighting terrorism. The specific language in this bill is an affront to the values contained in the Constitution. Values that protect my liberties!
Nor would I characterize Christopher Anders, senior legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, as one of a bunch of Internet "Constitutional scholars." It is his legal opinion that "the bill authorizes the president to order the military to indefinitely imprison without charge or trial American citizens and others found far from any battlefield, even in the United States itself. The bill strikes at the very heart of American values,”
If we look at the case of Jose Padilla, we can see how abusive it is to detain a citizen without a trial for an extended period of time. The Bush administration labeled this American citizen an “enemy combatant” for allege participation in various plots connected to his having been in Afghanistan in 2001. The government refused to permit visitation or the advice of an attorney. After three years in prison as an “enemy combatant,” the government was finally forced to bring him to trial in a civilian court. The Washington Post observed: “The charges brought in Miami contained none of the allegations about the dirty-bomb plot, the apartment buildings or even Padilla's presence in Afghanistan in late 2001. Instead, the government alleged that Padilla had conspired in the 1990s to provide support to overseas jihadists in Bosnia and Chechnya.” (1)
This bill appears to make the right of habeas corpus optional for US citizens at the discretion of the President. If I must choose between a President’s flexibility to interrogate terrorist and a US citizen’s Constitutional right to due process and a speedy trial, I choose the latter.
I appreciate and respect your input, Ron. I always do.
(1) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co … 01771.html
The latter is where the Authority lies. The President of the United States is a servant of the People. Not our overlord, not our dictator, our SERVANT! He and Congress are supposed to represent the people not control them!
I think the Padilla case supports my view of the situation quite well. Bush, (with the aid of Padilla's incompetent lawyers)used the hodgepodge of current laws to manipulate the system and avoid a Supreme Court showdown where he probably would have lost this case as well as the ability to employ such tactics in the future. If I remember correctly, Padilla was ultimately convicted and sentenced right?
A president desperately trying to fight his way out of an ill-conceived war will find a way to circumvent any legal constraints and dare Congress to prosecute him for it. Until they actually do so, as we should have with Truman, W. and others, the laws meant to restrain a wartime president really don't mean much.
To believe the rumors that any American can now be imprisoned indefinitely by the military requires an Evanesque distrust of the American people, their elected representatives, and appointed judiciary.
Thanks for your input. I look forward to continuing this discussion.
Good Evening Ron. In the real world, it is rare to find those who balance being idealistic with being pragmatic. It is a lot like loosing weight. It is not easy to accomplish. I know because I struggle with both.
After reading sections 1031 and 1032 of the bill, I am concerned. Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of the bills sponsors, said on the floor of Congress and before C-Span cameras that section "1031, the statement of authority to detain, does apply to American citizens and it designates the world as the battlefield, including the homeland." (1) He said it “does apply to American citizens” and when this bill is signed into law, your “rumors that any American can now be imprisoned indefinitely by the military” will morph from rumor to fact.
Am I being overly concerned? If it is Evanesque to have “distrust of the American people, their elected representatives, and appointed judiciary” than I must be Evanesque. As for the American public, exit polls have established that the electorate is generally grossly ill informed and ignorant of the facts surrounding many current events. The World Public Opinion Organization, a project managed by the Program of International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, in a report following the November 2010 elections, indicated how shamefully misinformed the American electorate was when making their 2010 Election Day decisions. If ignorance is bliss, then most American voters are living in a state of political nirvana. (2)
Elected representatives have convinced the public that they are prone to place the interests of their constituents and supporters before the interests of the overall population. The NDAA of 2012 is proof of this.
The judiciary is appointed according to allegiance to a political party and ideology. I may be cynical to observe that Bush v. Gore was decided in 2000 by a Supreme Court vote that followed party affiliation. The New York Times in 2006 said this decision: “undermines the courts' legitimacy when they depart sharply from the rules of precedent, and it gives support to those who have said that Bush v. Gore was not a legal decision but a raw assertion of power.” (3)
Although idealism and pragmatism are not always balanced, the many that are Evanesque have plenty of justification. While many may disagree on the significance of Sections 1031 and 1032 in the NDAA of 2012, I think all Americans would agree that the country would be better off if these provisions were never enforced.
I thank you, Ron, for your contributions to this thread. Grounded viewpoints are sometimes hard to find and you seem to have a good inventory.
I would like to take this moment and state that while I have never been a fan of organized anything--neither religion nor government--I am even less of a fan of unfair treatment and this is certainly one or more of those things. Which ones, I am currently on the fence about considering that after the passing of this bill the government seems to be no longer organized.
My father and I have discussed many times the repercussions of this bill, particularly those of Sections 1031 and 1032. For all intents and purposes, as long as these amendments are enforced our Bill of Rights may as well not exist for all of the power that we retain.
Recently I have toyed with the scenario of what if Obama doesn't veto this bill. What if this is just accepted as reasonable and just? What would we do then? My father-in-law brought up the idea that we're very quickly moving toward a Socialist government... What's your take on the situation?
Hi Ms. Bethanii. I congratulate you for publishing your first hub. I wish you much success. I am looking forward to reading more of your work.
It is likely that President Obama will sign this bill. Your concerns about Sections 1031 and 1032 are justified. All Americans should be concerned but, as you can tell by the deafening silence, not enough care right now.
The framers forged our Constitution following years of heated debate. They created a unique concept of bottom to top governance: an experiment never before attempted by free men. They set out to prevent tyranny and excessive central power by designing a government that could rule effectively while its power remained in the grasp of common citizens. They knew that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
For over 200 years, the ruling elite and their career politicians have watched this country become the leader of the free world. After eliminating the most threatening external forces, they are now chipping away at the Constitutional powers reserved for the citizenry. It is our duty to deny them this power because it will ultimately lead to the loss of all of our liberties. Like everything else in this world, if we do not claim what is rightfully ours, someone will surely take it away from us.
You asked about my take on trends toward socialism? I am certainly not an expert on this subject or any other for that matter. However, this has never kept me from airing opinions I probably borrowed from someone else. To suggest that the US is "very quickly moving toward a socialist government" is to forget historical reality. A national spirit of concern and compassion for all has existed in this country since the end of WWII. Throughout the prosperity that lasted into the 1960s, when American workers were respected and appreciated, the country was willing to share with those less fortunate. However, this spirit of sharing has been struggling to survive the "me" generation and the prevailing corporate mindset of today. Corporate America will lay-off their neighbors and will send their jobs to foreign labor markets to pursue greater profit margins. Executives have increased their own salaries from 25 times the average production worker in 1970 to nearly 500 times in 2004. (1) This is not a portrait of need; it is a feeding frenzy of greed. The majority of the wealthiest in our nation no longer feel it is their duty to extend a helping hand to the less fortunate.
This country has come upon hard times. However, for the very wealthy at least, the Great Recession ended a long time ago. In purely economic terms, we, as a nation, can no longer afford to be as socialistic as we were in the past. We can not feed the greed of the most wealthy among us, and lend a hand to the most needy too. The political reality in the Congress is both obvious and shameful. While the less advantaged are struggling to survive, the most privileged refuse to live with less. If we are not diligent, like ancient Rome, our excesses will lead us to oblivion.
I thank you for your contribution, Ms. Bethanii. Keep on writing!
(1) http://blogs.payscale.com/content/2008/ … es--1.html
Hi again, Ron. This is a great link.
At this time, it remains unclear to me why some elements in the Congress are reluctant to use clear and specific language to protect and insure the Constitutional rights of US citizens. Hence, the temptation to speculate about a slick and intentional strategy designed to frustrate and delay due process with a speedy trial, as done with Jose Padilla, allowing citizens to be detained and tortured while the courts take their sweet time chewing on opposing arguments.
Whatever the unstated reasons may be, the issue of detaining citizens this way smacks of abusive of power. My conscience tells me the end never justifies the means.
Thank you, Ron.
If you actually think that "words" will stop a tyrant, I got news for ya.
There's some great oceanfront property in South Dakota that I'm trying to sell, it's only going for about $160,000. I have a job waiting for me in Michigan, and I can't afford to keep the home!
Don't think! Buy now!
Wake up people - this act is worse than the PATRIOT act, and is the culmination of the police state that both parties have been crowing for for some 50 years.
Clinton showed us that the most important word in every single language - "is" - can be redefined. You think that any of this crap is going to stop a blood thirsty tyrant?
Quit wasting the planet's precious air by spoiling it with such nonsense.
Demand a reduction in government.
Thanks to your beloved industrialists, that property will probably be ocean front before long. You should hold on to it.
"don't think buy now..."
Is this your strategy on buying gold?
Purple Unicorn 2012
Blah blah - I'm voting for freedom, not tyranny masked in swagger.
You are already free to do the Koch brothers' bidding.
Oh, look at that, the Koch Brothers donated to Bachmann....
http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/20 … -give.html
Looks like your argument is baloney! Go figure!
blah blah purple unicorn blah blah shack blah blah
Just stopping by to say that a friend of mine who has been an ardent supporter of Obama but is upset by this bill had a dream that Obama used this law to imprison without trial George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleeza Rice, and a host of other war criminals.
Here's the NY Times's Take on the Bill
The trauma of Sept. 11, 2001, gave rise to a dangerous myth that, to be safe, America had to give up basic rights and restructure its legal system. The United States was now in a perpetual state of war, the argument went, and the criminal approach to fighting terrorism — and the due process that goes along with it — wasn’t tough enough.
The Loyal Opposition
Obama Drops Veto Threat Over Military Authorization Bill After Revisions (December 15, 2011)
Senate Approves Requiring Military Custody in Terror Cases (November 30, 2011)
President George W. Bush used this insidious formula to claim that his office had the inherent power to detain anyone he chose, for as long as he chose, without a trial; to authorize the torture of prisoners; and to spy on Americans without a warrant. President Obama came into office pledging his dedication to the rule of law and to reversing the Bush-era policies. He has fallen far short.
Mr. Obama refused to entertain any investigation of the abuses of power under his predecessor, and he has been far too willing to adopt Mr. Bush’s extravagant claims of national secrets to prevent any courthouse accountability for those abuses. This week, he is poised to sign into law terrible new measures that will make indefinite detention and military trials a permanent part of American law.
The measures, contained in the annual military budget bill, will strip the F.B.I., federal prosecutors and federal courts of all or most of their power to arrest and prosecute terrorists and hand it off to the military, which has made clear that it doesn’t want the job. The legislation could also give future presidents the authority to throw American citizens into prison for life without charges or a trial. The bill, championed by Republicans in the House and Senate, was attached to the military budget bill to make it harder for Mr. Obama to veto it.
Nearly every top American official with knowledge and experience spoke out against the provisions, including the attorney general, the defense secretary, the chief of the F.B.I., the secretary of state, and the leaders of intelligence agencies. And, for weeks, the White House vowed that Mr. Obama would veto the military budget if the provisions were left in. On Wednesday, the White House reversed field, declaring that the bill had been improved enough for the president to sign it now that it had passed the Senate.
This is a complete political cave-in, one that reinforces the impression of a fumbling presidency. To start with, this bill was utterly unnecessary. Civilian prosecutors and federal courts have jailed hundreds of convicted terrorists, while the tribunals have convicted a half-dozen.
And the modifications are nowhere near enough. Mr. Obama, his spokesman said, is prepared to sign this law because it allows the executive to grant a waiver for a particular prisoner to be brought to trial in a civilian court. But the legislation’s ban on spending any money for civilian trials for any accused terrorist would make that waiver largely meaningless.
The bill has so many other objectionable aspects that we can’t go into them all. Among the worst: It leaves open the possibility of subjecting American citizens to military detention and trial by a military court. It will make it impossible to shut the prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. And it includes an unneeded expansion of the authorization for the use of military force in Afghanistan to include indefinite detention of anyone suspected of being a member of Al Qaeda or an amorphous group of “associated forces” that could cover just about anyone arrested anywhere in the world.
There is no doubt. This bill will make it harder to fight terrorism and do more harm to the country’s international reputation. The White House said that if implementing it jeopardizes the rule of law, it expects Congress to work “quickly and tirelessly” to undo the damage. The White House will have to make that happen. After it abdicated its responsibility this week, we’re not convinced it will.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/16/opini … ef=opinion
The authors and everyone that voted "Yea" for this bill should be "Indefinately Detained" without counsel for committing Treason against the people of the United States of America. While the thinking public knows this legislation is an absolute abuse of power,what was the authors motivation? There has to be something buried in there somewhere? Just like DHS airport microwave/scanners that ex DHS secretary Chertoff just happens to own stock in the manufacturer. No one does anything for no good reason. Second,our military personnel takes an oath when they enlist to,
"I, [name], do solemly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State (Commonwealth, District, Territory) of ___ against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the Governor of the State (Commonwealth, District, Territory) of ___, that I make this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the Office of [grade] in the Army/Air National Guard of the State (Commonwealth, District, Territory) of ___ upon which I am about to enter, so help me God." The obey the President or Governor part is a little troublesome but,
Will our military personnel actually detain ordinary citizens or realize who the "Real Terrorists" are?
What if they use NATO forces? Non- American military personnel?
Good point but, not happening. How far do you think a foreign security force will get on American soil?
No electricity, only FEMA emergency warnings blaring over airwaves, including cell phones.
Men with black riot gear and machine guns, who would know the difference?
Sheet, I am having a hard time differentiating between our Police Forces and our Military now! Both are similarly equipped? Foreign troops are training consistently within the borders of the United States. Their soldiers are already HERE!
I cant predict how this will pan out.
The NDAA is not new.. its sections 1031-1033 of this incarnation that are frightening
What scares me is that this time the ndaa bill and the sections in question are pretty well publicized and yet the "buzz" is so minimal.
Its been a decade since my own ConLaw classes .. so I made sure to read up on some ConLaw sites and their take on this version of the ndaa before being to worried.
.. in addition, ACLU, NYT, Noam Chomsky, rolling stone, forbes all have and have been covering and publishing opposition pieces to the recent ndaa incarnation
As far as I can tell, its as bad it seems, put on the tin foil hats, many of the central tenets of our "freedom" are openly crushed.
i cant even find a single pro-Ndaa2012 result that can pacify that fear.
War time powers of indefinite detention during a war without end within any region of the world .. how the hell can that be spun into a positive or fit within the rule of law/due process/separation of powers that supposedly existed.
I didnt want orwell to ever be this right
This Bill is disturbing and I'm wondering if there is a connection to the FEMA camps. Wondering if you've heard of them. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3zSDdm-SHI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation … feature=iv
Sometimes events are so extraordinary that you just don't want to believe them, and also you are lead not to believe them.
Welcome to Oath Keepers
Oath Keepers is a non-partisan association of currently serving military, reserves, National Guard, veterans, Peace Officers, and Fire Fighters who will fulfill the Oath we swore, with the support of like minded citizens who take an Oath to stand with us, to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, so help us God. Our Oath is to the Constitution
Our motto is "Not on our watch!"
Brandon Smith: When Governments Go Rogue
Brandon Smith: “We did not create this division. The American people did not ask to be targeted. Though we certainly have not done enough to fend off the numerous attacks upon our general liberties, the root of the problem still lay within the core of our government, the puppet leaders who abuse it, and the corporate elitists who use it as a staging ground for personal agendas. We have become two separate groups that cannot and will not be reconciled. The government is openly admitting this through legislation like the National Defense Authorization Act. Its time we did the same.”
Blind Obedience to the State: The Sheep Are Now Ready for Slaughter!
To obey the restrictive rules crafted by the politicians, and without resistance, is to guarantee the destruction of liberty. It is not only a fatal form of apathy, but it is also the basis for the destruction of our soul. Politicians after all, are the lowest form of man, and do not deserve respect when their aim is to rule over and control the rest of us. For what are we if we simply do as others in power demand, without the courage to stand up for what is right? What are we if we bow our heads in fear when our fellow man is being trampled? What are we when we allow all that we have earned to be taken from us by force, and say or do nothing to stop it? What have we become when the worth of a man is judged by his allegiance to the state?
As threatening as the NDAA of 2012 sounds, the Oath Keepers organization is far more alarming. The rule of law, I submit, should not be subject to the interpretation of individual citizens. The Constitution is a complicated document containing 18th Century language and syntax that reflects a series of hard fought compromises and concessions. In final form, it was NOT designed to be a perfect model for human liberty but, rather, to be an acceptable consensus on which 13 colonies could establish a new nation. Since it was adopted, the Congress has passed many laws, some improvements, some not. The NDAA of 2012 should not be construed as a call to arms.
Law is a complex process involving ideals, principles, statues, context, and precedent. Law enforcement and military personnel are not necessarily qualified to rule on matters of the law or the Constitution. The Constitution is not so much the law of the land as it is the framework to guide the laws of the land. Ordinary citizens do not make the laws; federal and state legislators do. Average citizens do not interpret the laws; federal and state courts do. Therefore, I worry when a former paratrooper and firearms instructor feels he is qualified to declare: " We want the Justices in the Judicial Branch to follow the Constitution as written without interpretation." Who then should interpret the Constitution? Should you? Should some other individual Oath Keeper or I?
My concerns grew after reading the "Declaration of Orders We Will NOT Obey." They read like Ten Counter-Commandments. They are far from being constructive guidelines, and, unfortunately, they blur the line between performance and dereliction of duty. For example, what if guns had appeared at Central High School in Little Rock in 1957? Should the military and the National Guardsmen on duty called a "time out" while they considered if they should refuse to obey an order to disarm American citizens?
While many are ready to judge our government on a single genre of issues, I prefer to consider the collective extent to which it represents the will of the people.
I am judging the collective extent to which it represents the will of the people. The will of the PEOPLE is not being represented. Only the will of the controlling elite seems to get any representation.
The Constitution, particularly the Bill of Rights is the document which has made this Nation stand out as the bastion of Freedom. Any infringement on these Rights nullifies the Freedoms on which our ancestors enjoyed.
Habeas Corpus and Posse Comitatus needs to be upheld if this great Nation is to survive. Any less will result not only in loss of Freedom but possibly loss of the Nations sovereignty. Maybe not in my lifetime, I have grandchildren that I worry for their future.
As always you do provide excellent posts to ponder. I have responded initially but you have given me some thoughts on which I am in need of research.
OATH KEEPERS: ORDERS WE WILL NOT OBEY
1. We will NOT obey orders to disarm the American people.
2. We will NOT obey orders to conduct warrantless searches of the American people
3. We will NOT obey orders to detain American citizens as “unlawful enemy combatants” or to subject them to military tribunal.
4. We will NOT obey orders to impose martial law or a “state of emergency” on a state.
5. We will NOT obey orders to invade and subjugate any state that asserts its sovereignty.
6. We will NOT obey any order to blockade American cities, thus turning them into giant concentration camps.
7. We will NOT obey any order to force American citizens into any form of detention camps under any pretext.
8. We will NOT obey orders to assist or support the use of any foreign troops on U.S. soil against the American people to “keep the peace” or to “maintain control."
9. We will NOT obey any orders to confiscate the property of the American people, including food and other essential supplies.
10.We will NOT obey any orders which infringe on the right of the people to free speech, to peaceably assemble, and to petition their government for a redress of grievances.
Open Your Eyes: Obama Signs NDAA Martial Law! (Civil Liberties Are Being Taken)
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